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Faq

Frequently Asked Questions


About Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice

General and Quotes

We are a fully automated process and provide all the information needed for you to make an informed decision online.

A quotation is available 24/7 online. Anywhere on our website simply click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button.  That will take you through the questions necessary to generate a quotation. It’s all straightforward and simple and once produced you have the option to save the quote for later or proceed direct to purchase. 

If you choose to proceed to purchase, you have the option to pay monthly or for the whole year by Credit or Debit Card and once the transaction is authorised your policy is issued immediately. Your documents will be emailed to you for you to print and save.

For more details on this click on the ‘What’s the process?’ tab and if there’s still anything that remains unclear, simply give us a call, we always love to chat.

 

If you look at the wording carefully you will see that your signed declaration that the information entered is correct is required at or before a claim NOT at the time the policy is issued.

We pride ourselves on being the first to introduce commercial insurance that does not require a signature in order to have a policy issued.

This makes the process very convenient because the only time you would be called on to confirm that your information is correct is in the event of a claim, and, if there were a claim there would be a flow of paperwork anyway and a declaration would be just one of the papers exchanged.

Cost is dependent on a number of factors including annual income, level of cover, number of people covered, whether or not overseas cover is included.  You can refer to the product page for more information, or simply take out a quote which only takes a couple of minutes.

 

We require this for one reason - in order to gain an indication of the size of the business.

We are able to provide insurance to business practices where the total income is up to a maximum of £750,000 pa. This is not profit (after taxes and expenses), but the total revenue of your business.

The income we discuss here is the income generated from the business practices to be covered by this insurance. That may NOT be the total business income if the business engages in some practices NOT covered by this insurance. 

 

Your income level will have an impact on the premium.  Please see the ‘How much will it cost’ section for more details.

Yes, you can. 

When you proceed to purchase you will be given the choice of paying monthly or annually.  However, it is an annual policy and you are expected to maintain the monthly payments.  You should regard this as spreading the cost rather than purchasing monthly coverage.

 

We do not offer business advice. However, we can add a few comments that might be helpful in answer to your question.

You do not need to have a 'company' in place before starting to take on clients or to obtain insurance. But, you should have insurance in place as soon as you start to take on clients. If, at a later date, you form a company the policy can be altered to take that into account and will cover you before the company was formed and thereafter.

Insurance cover provides you with the comfort that in the event of something 'going wrong' with the service you provide you are covered against a valid claim.

 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulatory body charged by UK law to regulate the financial markets in the UK. This, of course, includes the entire insurance market and this firm.

Westminster Insurance Limited is duly authorised and regulated by the FCA registration no: 439023.

 

For ease of reference you may use this link direct to the FCA Register - CLICK HERE where you may check the registration of this firm - or any other regulated by the FSA.

It is a criminal offense to undertake any regulated activity (as those activities and markets regulated by the FCA are called) without the appropriate FCA authority.

The financial regulation standards in the UK (enforced by the FCA) are probably the toughest in the world, and the process to become regulated takes into account all factors appropriate to the running of a business.

Where Westminster Insurance Limited does business in other parts of the EU - such as Eire - it remains under the same stringent regulatory conditions as if it were in the UK.

Professional bodies are usually set up to protect the interest of members and set professional and ethical standards for practitioners. The FCA is set up to protect the consumer. The conditions for authorisation are stringent, appropriate and thorough as is the ongoing monitoring of every person or firm regulated by the FCA. Accordingly, there is no professional body that Westminster Indemnity Ltd could belong, or subscribe to, that would further enhance the protection our customers receive.

 


Policy and Coverage

Ever made a mistake or had a bad day at the office? It may be something you did that you should not have, or something you did not do that you should have. 

Example: In one of your coaching sessions you happen to give an inappropriate advice to your client which leads to them filing a claim against your business. Can you cope with the financial consequences following this, even if you didn’t do anything wrong?

Professional Indemnity is sometimes known as “Malpractice”. What it covers is a claim made against you as a consequence of you practicing your professional service.

 

Public liability covers a claim made against you by a member of the public, and that means it isn't necessarily a client. It is quite different to Professional Indemnity and covers an event that has no direct connection with your professional practice. It is meant to protect you financially, should someone held you or your business responsible for injury or property damage. A claim could be for almost anything where there is the opportunity to point the finger at you.

Example: A visitor trips up and breaks a leg while walking on the carpet in your office. Easily done, isn’t it? Yet, this is all it could take to receive a claim for tens of thousands of pounds and this is exactly the sort of thing Public Liability insurance covers.

 

We offer £1,000,000, £2,000,000 and £5,000,000 cover per claim and similar amounts in euros.

Many of our customers believe £1,000,000 cover is perfectly adequate.

Some have £2,000,000 of cover because their clients insist upon it.  You will probably find this to be the case if you participate in any public shows/events. 

Others determine that due to the size of their business or the type of service they offer and the potential risk, the £5,000,000 is more appropriate.

 

Background:

When we started in 2003 our policy was crafted and constructed to cover Coaches and what Coaches do. We soon discovered that some Coaches are engaged in other therapies and disciplines, some of which have "medical" elements, and we wished to provide cover for them also.  As a very simple example - Aromatherapy - does have a medical element to it; it might not be much, but it is there. So that's the background as to why "medical malpractice" is now included within the policy.

What does it mean to you if these terms do not apply to you?

The policy is now designed to cover a very wide range of business practices, so it is always possible that some clauses will have no relevance to you.

If the business practice you wish to cover has no "medical" element at all (and many we cover have NO medical element) then those clauses of a "medical nature" have no relevance to cover and can be safely ignored.  If a clause does not apply, then the fact that it is within the wording has no detrimental effect.  Quite simply, if they do not apply to you - they do not apply to you - so just ignore them.

The benefit of what may be "surplus wording" in some circumstances is that one standard set of wording can be used across many different business practices. The fundamental cover provided does not change because of surplus words.

 

There are 5 key dates relating to your policy and coverage.

‘Policy Start Date’ and ‘Policy End Date’.  This is the policy term and usually these dates are 1 year apart.  You are covered for valid claims made during the policy term, dependent on the ‘occurrence date’ and ‘retroactive date’.

‘Occurrence date’ is the date on which the incident happened, that later gives rise to a claim.

‘Claim date’ is the date you first know of a claim and the insurers are informed.

‘Retroactive date’ is the date after which the date of occurrence must be in order for it to be considered.

Our policy is what is termed a ‘Claims made policy’. That means the insurers will consider a claim that they are advised of (and you must tell them at once!) during the policy year. The incident that caused the claim could have occurred in the recent past – and it could have been years before, provided the incident occurred AFTER the retroactive date. Our policy has no retroactive date and therefore our policy covers you during the policy term for an incident that could have occurred at any time in the past.

 

So, by way of example, if your policy year was 1st January - 31st December 2018 - then if between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2018 you first became aware of a claim (and it related to an incident say 3 years ago) and advised the insurer then the insurer will deal with that claim, even though the incident that caused the claim happened years ago.

If you have a break in your insurance coverage (ie a few month gap between policies) then when you renew your policy, you have the option to retain the original Retroactive Date of Nil (incidents any time in the past covered) or change it to the start of the new policy (incidents only after this date covered).

 

First, we need to get to grips with very slightly different words that can mean very different things, and only apply to Professional Indemnity policies.

Claim made: When a claim is made

Claim arising: When the incident that caused the claim occurred - it could be years ago

 

With Motor insurance for example, when there is a claim there is no great time gap between the "accident" that gives rise to the claim and when the claim is made. A claim is made immediately following an "accident".

Professional Indemnity can be quite different. The claim can arise years after the incident that causes the claim.

 

In short, the answer is not a lot in the practical world. They are expressions that effectively means the same thing but tend to be used in different types of business. The insurance they provide covers essentially the same thing - the consequences of a claim that you did something wrong or didn't do what you should have done.

E&O
Tends to be used in business. Where a claim might be as a result of something the business did or didn't do. Clearly there's no medical component and no advice in the "professional" sense.

 

Medical Malpractice
Tends to be used wherever there is a medical element, doctors, nurses, dentists etc.

 

Professional Indemnity
Tends to be used in the "professions". Now this is where language can tie you up, because - should a Medical Consultant be covered for Medical Malpractice or Professional Indemnity.

 

It's perhaps easier to answer the question by asking should an Architect call his cover - Medical Malpractice (clearly no), Errors and Omissions (well maybe - but E&O doesn't include "advice") or clearly Professional Indemnity would be the answer.

For the medical consultant it would actually be medical malpractice.

This is an easy one to get tied up with the words of the title. What's really important is what the cover provides.

In all of the cases used to illustrate this here the answer is - the cover provides for a claim against you for getting some part of your business wrong. Be it an error, omission, incorrect procedure - the claim that you "plain and simple" made a mistake.

The answer lies in the context of what the "retail store" actually does. Our cover does not include cover for a "retail store". What it does cover is products and services that are sold by you in the course of the business practice that you are covered (by us) for.

It would, in our view, be unreasonable to claim that any business practice we provide cover for has, as an essential element of that business, a retail store. We would see the sale of products that are a part of your practice as more incidental than full-on sales activity of product.

Dependent upon how the store will operate and what it will sell you might be better placed to obtain retail store cover - but it all depends on how the "store" will work.

In the event of a claim that involved the sale of a product (as opposed to the sale of your expertise/service) the underwriter would want to establish that the product sold was as a direct result of, and an extension to, your professional practice and not a stand-alone retail store.

 

Before we answer the question directly, let us first establish who is covered and for what.

The insurance we offer covers the policy holder (and this can be a person, a company or a group) for claims made against them, during the term of the policy, within and under UK (or Eire) jurisdiction.

 

You could therefore argue that it doesn't really matter where employees or directors actually live or reside.

What really matters, is where business is conducted, and where in particular any business was conducted that gave rise to a valid claim.

The underwriters will ONLY respond to a claim that is brought under UK jurisdiction, against a policy holder that is delivered to a UK address, written in English, meets the criteria for cover (like: the policy holder is actually covered for the business activity that is the subject of the claim) and meets the other criteria.

So, to summarise the answer: Where any employee or director of a company lives has no effect on the term of cover, one must be careful NOT to extend that line of reasoning to mean that the underwriters will consider any claim of any sort from anywhere in the world.

 

It all depends on what you "do" at a "Pamper party". If, at a "Pamper party" what you do is practice one of (or a number of) the disciplines, therapies or business practices we provide cover for and are specified on your policy, then you would be covered and there would be no extra charge.

Each discipline, therapy and business practice has a very simple description – a definition of what it is - so you should read them carefully and be sure what you actually do at your "Pamper party" is what we cover you for.

 

The simple answer is No.

Let us investigate who is actually insured by an insurance policy and who a "complainant" should deal with.

This insurance provides protection against a valid claim made against the Policy Holder according to the terms of the policy.
In the event of a dispute where there is, or could be, a potential claim then the claimant should make a claim against the person they consider responsible for their loss. In the realm of Professional Indemnity insurance this would normally be the person who provided the service.

 

We therefore need to fully understand who provided the service, and who is covered under the terms of the policy.

If both are the same person - then all well and good.

But if the person who provided the service is an individual and the claimant lodges a complaint against them because they alone provided the service, as evidenced by Terms of Business, who was paid, who the contract was with - the fact that they may also be a part of a group that is insured is of no concern or benefit. In such a case the Group did not provide the service, the individual did, and did so outside of the group activity.

So, a valid claim made against a Group that is insured would be considered by the underwriter subject to the policy terms IF the Group were responsible for the claim, and that could mean any individual acting on behalf of the group at their request and suitably trained and experienced so to do.

 

Let us jump directly to the example.

Say you are a small limited company dealing with sports and health coaching and you have insurance with us with cover level £1,000,000.  At the beginning of the year a visitor walked into your office, tripped on your doorstep and broke their arm at your premises. They say that it’s your fault because it happened on your watch and claim for £50,000 Public Liability for this mishap. Then another client comes and claims that the Coaching he paid for didn’t get him the results promised and in fact has lost him his job.  This is a £100,000 Professional Indemnity claim. This is £150,000 in two claims, not to mention the piles of legal costs and advertising costs to restore your damaged reputation.

Assuming that you notify us straight away of these claims and meet the underwriter’s criteria stated in our policy wording, our policy will indemnify you for the two claims, as well as for the legal and advertising costs that may arise.

All of this means that we will indemnify you for any claim that you become aware of during the term of the insurance and meets the policy criteria up to your chosen cover level.

Most policies today are claims made. Ours is!

A ‘Claims made’ policy is one in which the insurer will consider a claim they are informed of and the claim is first known about during the policy year. The incident that caused the claim could have been years ago - but the key dates are the date on which the claim is first known and advised, and the Retroactive date.

A ‘Claims made’ policy with no retroactive date - or one that is the start date of your business - can be renewed annually and all the time you are insured any claim that arises will be dealt with by the current insurer. When you stop work you then need to have ‘run-off’ period of cover which continues to provide you with cover against a claim that can be made in the future. Clearly, ‘run-off’ cover is not required for a claims arising policy.

A ‘Claims arising’ policy means the insurer in whose policy year the claim actually arose - it could have been years ago - deals with the claim.

Most policies are ‘Claims made’ for the very simple reason that the insurer can "close his books" after the policy year. An insurer issuing a ‘Claims arising’ policy can never close his books.

You do not want to be switching between the two without being fully aware of the consequences. If you move to a ‘Claims arising’ policy from ‘Claims made’ you could almost wind up with the worst of all possible worlds!


Changes, Cancellation and Renewal

Most certainly - the answer is Yes.

We do not charge extra to add more business practices, either at inception or at a later date. However, there are certain disciplines within a higher premium tier, which would cost extra to add.  So if you added something that is in the same or lower premium tier than your current coverage then there would be no more to pay.

All you need do is contact us when you are ready and we will add them for you.

 


About Cyber and Data

General and Quotes

Again, two options here:

1.      If you are obtaining a new insurance policy with Cyber & Data Liability add-on, you will be able to choose payment by monthly instalments.

2.      If you want to add this cover mid-term, you will be required to pay the whole amount of the add-on product.


Policy and Coverage

Yes. With this policy in place we will be able to indemnify you in such an unfortunate scenario. The appropriate level of cover will also provide you with compensation for the advertising costs aimed to restore your reputation following such a claim.

If you have received a notification for a claim, please get in touch as soon as possible.

Short answer, yes.

Long answer, if you happen to transfer a computer virus to someone with whom you do business OR if a hacker attack was specifically targeted at you, we will pay you the necessary costs and expenses for the damages you incurred.

This policy would not cover any claims, including arbitration, brought outside of United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.


Changes, Cancellation and Renewal

Yes, you can add this additional protection to your existing policy at any time during the period of cover.  We refer to this as a 'mid-term' adjustment.

Simply contact us by phone or email and we will arrange this with you.

Once you have added an additional area of cover to your policy, it cannot be cancelled during the term of the policy.  However, when your policy becomes due for renewal you can remove it from the coverage that you require for the following year's policy.


General and Quotes

The answer to this question will depend on whether you:

 

1. want to get a quote for Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice policy including Cyber and Data cover, or

2. already have an existing policy with us and would like to add Cyber Liability cover

 

Answer 1

We are a fully automated process and provide all the information needed for you to make an informed decision on-line. 

A quotation is available 24/7 on-line. Click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button.  That will take you through the questions necessary to provide a quotation. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes and once produced you have the option to save it for later or proceed direct to purchase. 

If you choose to proceed to purchase, we will collect your contact details and then request payment. Payment is by Credit or Debit Card and once authorised your policy is issued immediately. Your documents will be emailed to you for you to print and/or save.

 

Answer 2

If you would like to see the cost of adding this to your existing policy you can find the details on the Cost tab of the Cyber and Data page.  If you wish to go ahead, simply contact us by email or phone for us to arrange this with you.

 


About Employer Liability

General and Quotes

The answer to this question will depend on whether you: 

1. want to get a quote for Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice policy including Employer Liability cover, or

2. already have an existing policy with us and would like to add Employer Liability cover 

Answer 1

We are a fully automated process and provide all the information needed for you to make an informed decision on-line. 

A quotation is available 24/7 on-line. Click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button.  That will take you through the questions necessary to provide a quotation. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes and once produced you have the option to save it for later or proceed directly to purchase. 

If you choose to proceed to purchase, we will collect your contact details and then request payment. Payment is by Credit or Debit Card and once authorised your policy is issued immediately. Your documents will be emailed to you for you to print and/or save.  

Answer 2

If you would like to see the cost of adding this to your existing policy you can find the details on the Cost tab of the Employer Liability page.  If you wish to go ahead, simply contact us by email or phone for us to arrange this with you.

Again, two options here:

1.      If you are obtaining a new insurance policy with Employer Liability add-on, you will be able to choose payment by monthly instalments.

2.      If you want to add this cover mid-term, you will be required to pay the whole amount of the add-on product.


Policy and Coverage

Employers Liability insurance provides compensation to employees in the event that they have a valid claim of bodily injury, sickness, disability or disease caused by the work they carried out as part of their employment with you. It will also cover the legal costs involved in the claim.

In accordance with the Employer's Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, Section 2, if you have 'employees' then it is a legal requirement to have a minimum of £5 million of employer's liability insurance. Failure to have this insurance in place can result in a fine of £2,500 for every day you are not insured.

We offer insurance for up to 3 employees.

As a sole trader working solely on your own then you do not need EL Insurance.

However, if you have employees or anyone who would be regarded as an ‘employee’ for the purposes of this insurance then you would be subject to the same regulations.


Changes, Cancellation and Renewal

Yes, you can add this additional protection to your existing policy at any time during the period of cover.  We refer to this as a 'mid-term' adjustment.

Simply contact us by phone or email and we will arrange this with you.  

Once you have added an additional area of cover to your policy, it cannot be cancelled during the term of the policy.  However, when your policy becomes due for renewal you can remove it from the coverage that you require for the following year's policy.


About Office Contents

General and Quotes

The answer to this question will depend on whether you:

1. want to get a quote for Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice policy including Office Contents cover, or

2. already have an existing policy with us and would like to add Cyber Liability cover

 

Answer 1

We are a fully automated process and provide all the information needed for you to make an informed decision online. 

A quotation is available 24/7 online. Click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button.  That will take you through the questions necessary to provide a quotation. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes and once produced you have the option to save it for later or proceed direct to purchase. 

If you choose to proceed to purchase, we will collect your contact details and then request payment. Payment is by Credit or Debit Card and once authorised your policy is issued immediately. Your documents will be emailed to you for you to print and/or save.

 

Answer 2

If you would like to see the cost of adding this to your existing policy, you can find the details on the Cost tab.  If you wish to go ahead, simply contact us by email or phone for us to arrange this with you.

 

Again, two options here:

1.      If you are obtaining a new insurance policy with Office Contents add-on, you will be able to choose payment by monthly instalments.

2.      If you want to add this cover mid-term, you will be required to pay the whole amount of the add-on product.


Policy and Coverage

Yes, any fixed, plain or wired glass or mirror at the office is covered by our Office Contents policy

The Office Contents policy provides cover for when contents are 'in transit' provided that you have complied with the security requirements as specified on the policy, which includes the secure locking of the transport vehicle.  Please refer to the policy wording for full details.

Your policy provides cover for the replacement of locks, lock mechanisms and keys necessary to maintain the security of your office following theft of the keys.  This is subject to the policy excess.


Changes, Cancellation and Renewal

Yes, you can add this additional protection to your existing policy at any time during the period of cover.  We refer to this as a 'mid-term' adjustment.

Simply contact us by phone or email and we will arrange this with you. 

Once you have added an additional area of cover to your policy, it cannot be cancelled during the term of the policy.  However, when your policy becomes due for renewal you can remove it from the coverage that you require for the following year's policy.

 


About Personal Accident

General and Quotes

Again, two options here:

1.      If you are obtaining a new insurance policy with Personal Accident add-on, you will be able to choose payment by monthly instalments.

2.      If you want to add this cover mid-term, you will be required to pay the whole amount of the add-on product.


Policy and Coverage

Yes, you can.

The pricing and cover limits that we offer are per person and you can have multiple people protected, provided that they are people who are covered by your main Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice policy.

 

 

 

No, unfortunately you can't.

This cover is only available for those people who are included on your Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice policy

Personal Accident protection does not cover disease and illness. 

It must be a specific accident that occurred on a particular date during the term of cover.

It cannot be an accident that pre-dates the policy period.

Personal Accident cover is available to eligible individuals aged between 16 and 65 at the start of the policy period of cover.

Yes this policy will cover any eligible accident that is serious enough to stop you working in your field of business for a year.

 


Changes, Cancellation and Renewal

Yes, you can add this additional protection to your existing policy at any time during the period of cover.  We refer to this as a 'mid-term' adjustment.

Simply contact us by phone or email and we will arrange this with you.  

Once you have added an additional area of cover to your policy, it cannot be cancelled during the term of the policy.  However, when your policy becomes due for renewal you can remove it from the coverage that you require for the following year's policy.

 


General and Quotes

The answer to this question will depend on whether you:

1. want to get a quote for Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice policy including Personal Accident cover, or

2. already have an existing policy with us and would like to add Personal Accident cover

 

Answer 1

We are a fully automated process and provide all the information needed for you to make an informed decision online. 

A quotation is available 24/7 online. Click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button. That will take you through the questions necessary to provide a quotation. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes and once produced you have the option to save it for later or proceed direct to purchase. 

If you choose to proceed to purchase, we will collect your contact details and then request payment. Payment is by Credit or Debit Card and once authorised your policy is issued immediately. Your documents will be emailed to you for you to print and/or save.

 

Answer 2

If you would like to see the cost of adding this to your existing policy, you can find the details on the Cost tab.  If you wish to go ahead, simply contact us by email or phone for us to arrange this with you.

 


About Portable Equipment

General and Quotes

The answer to this question will depend on whether you:

1. want to get a quote for Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and Medical Malpractice policy including Portable Business Equipment cover, or

2. already have an existing policy with us and would like to add Portable Business Equipment cover

 

Answer 1

We are a fully automated process and provide all the information needed for you to make an informed decision online. 

A quotation is available 24/7 online. Click on the ‘Get a Quote’ button.  That will take you through the questions necessary to provide a quotation. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes and once produced you have the option to save it for later or proceed direct to purchase.  

If you choose to proceed to purchase, we will collect your contact details and then request payment. Payment is by Credit or Debit Card and once authorised your policy is issued immediately. Your documents will be emailed to you for you to print and/or save.

 

Answer 2

If you would like to see the cost of adding this to your existing policy, you can find the details on the Cost tab.  If you wish to go ahead, simply contact us by email or phone for us to arrange this with you.

Again, two options here:

1.      If you are obtaining a new insurance policy with Portable Business Equipment add-on, you will be able to choose payment by monthly instalments.

2.      If you want to add this cover mid-term, you will be required to pay the whole amount of the add-on product.


Changes, Cancellation and Renewal

Yes, you can add this additional protection to your existing policy at any time during the period of cover.  We refer to this as a 'mid-term' adjustment.

Simply contact us by phone or email and we will arrange this with you.

Once you have added an additional area of cover to your policy, it cannot be cancelled during the term of the policy.  However, when your policy becomes due for renewal you can remove it from the coverage that you require for the following year's policy.

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